Certainty of Idle Fingers

The slate is clear, the words unspoken,
the brush lay calm, the clay unbroken.
No great work to sate ambition
forms free of labor or volition.

Naught is here but paper’s promise,
wrought in absence, base and lawless.
The brush lifts briefly, stops and lingers,
then drifts away on idle fingers.

What critique can now take purchase –
where no words dwell – and quell no purpose?
What thin crack can thwart protections,
of vaporous art, of void perfections?

The stage sits dark, the choir scattered,
the pianos silent, the curtains tattered.
Yet we remain, unawed, unblamed,
in squalid silence, none acclaimed.

(observance) National Poetry Month Day 30

The maggots must remember
her smile for its warmth
or the unreal stillness of hands
accustomed to trembling;
perhaps they noticed
the tan pantsuit she wore to rest
(a choice only she
could have made), or the
fine coiffing of her hair,
somehow regal despite
the thinness of the strands;
or the parchment-white of her
eyelids, the lips flattened
to a serious line, the blush of
faint finality across her cheeks.
Surely,
the maggots must remember.

Killing Time (National Poetry Month Day 29)

Tear down the hour from the wall
drag It through the streets and cudgel
It unmercifully. Splay Its hands across
the cobbles and smash the minutes
from the fingers. Bind It to the post and
lash It ’til the seconds bleed and stain
the street like crimson pointillism.
Douse Its face in ruddy oil and
strike a spark to burn through
midnight. The dawn will witness
your ashen fingers. Do whatever horror must
be done, but strike this Hour
from my life.

old routines (National Poetry Month Day 28)

I woke up from a dream of you
To see you as you really seem
Two big eyes and little else-
Tolerance grown from routine
And now it’s over

Now my head is empty
And my heart is full
And in my hands squirms
A birth-slick
Hate for us.

There’s blood on my mouth
And foam in my brain
The words caught between my teeth
Spilling down the drain
And now it’s over.

National Poetry Month Day 27

The viper has pride in his venom
The lioness admires her claws
The hawk shrieks delight as she’s diving;
In silence we dwell on our flaws.

The bee knows his lot is to gather
The fox sees the world as a game
The vulture is cruel but needed;
In darkness we’ve all lost our aim.

The flower brightens the furrows
The goldfinch sweetens the air
The spiders are spinning quite softly;
In stillness we dream
if we dare.

Bundled Sparks (National Poetry Month Day 26)

I.
He reached into the cosmos,
pulled apart the nebulae like
crackling vertebrae and
took them to his forge.

II.
In the heat of stars
he hammered on
the brain, twisted
chaos into neurons
and welded shut the skull
with a piece of himself inside.

III.
Walking through the park,
a pain behind your ear
burns away the city;
you never see again.

IV.
Alone in darkness with
all the stars of the cosmos
sparking inside you,
slowly dying.

The Dreaming Tree (National Poetry Month Day 24)

As I lay beneath the willows
With only rigid roots for pillows
My lazing eyes draw focus on
The branches drifting in the breeze –
And how the Sun’s shining spears
Are cut to darkling patterned tears
That fall upon me and permit
My slumberous eyes to restful ease.

Then grows my spirit, sweetly dreaming,
Of all the world shrunk downward, seeming
Small and sure and swiftly beating
As the hearts of lovers meeting;
I see the bulky, boisterous bear
With her cubs in cozy lair,
And hear the bird-song’s rolling call
As they wheel about the air.
Ah, on those peaks I leave my head,
And feeling southward, dare to tread
Crossing lakes with steady strides,
Then dip my hands in western tides.
Ah, that water’s warmth has certain charms,
So on that beach I leave my arms.

Then done with sight, done with sound,
And with little left to gift the ground
I stand and feel the saplings blowing
Up against my ticklish toes.
There I stand, my spirit flowing,
Down into the deep earth going,
Mingling with the roots and knowing
That I am one with all things growing.

The Garfield (National Poetry Month Day 23)

Once upon a day of illness, as I yearned to break the stillness,
Seeking simple ways to fill this great and sickly noontime’s snore
Through the channels I went picking til’ the clicker’s ceaseless clicking
Found the sight forever sticking, corroding at my very core.

In the papers I had seen him like an orange and flaming demon
And his owner, once a freeman, now the servile yoke he bore;
But that sight had not prepared me for this show that boldly dared me,
And at once the theme ensnared me into staying and wanting more.

In my frantic feverish dreaming, there I saw him, smiling, scheming,
Seeming all the more a demon for the feline grin he wore –
All I know is he hates Mondays, and he takes lasagna all ways;
He sets my sedate soul to a blaze that heats my fury to a roar.

On the screen his mocking dancing set my bilious hate advancing
When that spastic flailing prancing spilled my gut upon the floor,
Still enraptured I proceeded to see the owner’s pleas unheeded
As lasagna quickly speeded, speeded to the maw that I abhor!

Oh, were I well and were I able I would leap the coffee table
and find the fiend who dares enable this filth to play on Channel Four,
And upon him I would smite with all my hate and all my spite
For I would be the noble knight to slay this demon forevermore!